On This Date 2/22/1959

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Stock Car racing takes a significant step forward with the opening of its first superspeedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. A crowd of 41,921 sees the inaugural running of the Daytona 500 at the newly minted 2.5-mile tri-oval track. A thrilling race ends without a clear winner, as Lee Petty and Johnny Beauchamp finish in a photo that took three days to determine Petty crossed the finish line first.